Slot rattling from law enforcement to lawbreaking : a personal construct theory exploration of police stress
Law enforcement is a highly stressful occupation, although the primary stressors involved are different from what might be expected. These stressors, and police officers' responses to them, were examined from the perspective of personal construct theory. The personal construct systems of police officers whose response to stress involved lawbreaking or violence were compared with those of officers referred for psychological assessment for other reasons. The former were found to display tighter construct organization and to use fewer constructs concerned with intensity of feelings. Case examples are presented that illustrate the predicaments of stressed police officers in relation to the content of their construing, and the value of repertory grid technique in the assessment of police officers presenting psychological difficulties is indicated.